In her role as a Strategic Relationship & Engagement Advisor, Vanessa drives efforts to develop and strengthen a model community response to human trafficking in the United States. She engages with strategic federal and state stakeholders to promote formal use and partnership with the National Human Trafficking Hotline as part of a sustainable infrastructure to respond to the crime of human trafficking. As part of the US Model team, Vanessa helps guide a coordinated approach to combating and preventing human trafficking in the United States and drives system level change to address and combat this issue.
Vanessa joined Polaris and the National Hotline in June 2010 with a strong background in law and human rights. Through her extensive and diverse career with Polaris, Vanessa has acquired extensive expertise and institutional knowledge about human trafficking hotlines and capacity building. Her portfolio of work includes national and global consultation and training on hotline development and operations, working with diverse audiences and multi-disciplinary teams to build effective and sustainable human trafficking responses, stakeholder engagement, systems-level capacity building and multi-sector collaboration and engagement.
Before coming to Polaris, Vanessa worked on issues of international and domestic family abductions at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. She also has extensive experience working with international clients on a variety of appellate immigration and cross-cultural matters. Vanessa has a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Arizona. She has also studied at the Monash University Law Chambers in Melbourne, Australia and at the University of Canterbury Law School in Christchurch, New Zealand. Vanessa is fluent in Gujarati & English.